Carrie-Anne Moss and Eka Darville talk about their season 3 story arcs on Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix
In the world of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, there are a few central characters who are always revolving around Jessica (Krysten Ritter). Among them are two characters who seem to support her while occasionally pushing her buttons: Jeri Hogarth, played by Carrie-Anne Moss and Malcolm Ducasse, played by Eka Darville. Their characters have witnessed dramatic changes in their story arcs since season 1. In season 2, Jeri received a diagnosis of ALS, while Malcolm left his gig as Jessica's assistant and in season 3, he will be working for Jeri.
We were invited to visit the Jessica Jones set in New York City to take a look behind the scenes and talk to the cast about the final season.
We chatted with Carrie-Anne and Eka about diving deep into the vulnerabilities of their roles and the shift in the power dynamics in season 3. ~Marriska Fernandes
Can you talk about your story lines for season 3?
Carrie-Anne: For my character, she’s definitely trying to reinvent herself and create this business and from what happened in season 2, she’s moving forward and at the same time, dealing with her diagnosis. So there’s a new love that comes into her life that’s pretty deep and rocks her, I think. Because we’re so in it, it’s hard to talk about it. I don’t really analyze it too much when I’m doing it. So Jeri is trying to regain her power while she’s feeling incredibly powerless. It’s been interesting to play that and find that.
Eka: It’s very interesting what you just said. There are a lot of parallels between trying to reinvent oneself and trying to find a sense of power and a sense of feeling powerless, and how that comes. That’s a lot of themes that a lot of the characters are dealing with. It’s definitely going to overlap with Malcolm and Jeri’s journey this season. There’s a level of exploring morality.
Carrie-Anne: I have this new office and he works for me now and looks so dapper and sharp when he walks in. Sometimes I’m in my new office and I’m like, “Oh yeah, this is my new office.” I’m so used to the one we had for the first and second season and then you come in -- just look after look that’s just amazing.
How does Jeri relate to Jessica this season?
Carrie-Anne: It’s interesting because I feel like Jessica and Jeri have so much intimacy and then they don’t. I feel, at times, when I’m working on Jeri that Jessica is the only person I have, which is interesting. We have this intimate relationship and yet absolutely none. It’s tricky and we have some intense interactions this season and then, as if we have nothing. We play that dance a little bit that we kind of all do sometimes in intimate relationships.
You mentioned the love interest. We heard it's somebody who comes back into her life. Can you elaborate on that?
Carrie-Anne: I see this character, the relationship I am going back to, it’s like she represents her innocence. It’s someone from her past. I can only imagine knowing that you’re going to die, it’s the one pure thing she had in her life and she’s trying to feel that again -- when life was different, she was young, free or when she didn’t care or think. It’s an old relationship like a true love that Jeri wants to be around again.
I love how she embraces her alpha qualities. How does that play into her vulnerabilities?
Carrie-Anne: I really love when Jeri has that power. I find it really incredible to play that. She’s definitely a control freak. Most people with that kind of power are -- power over other people. It’s complicated and never one way. But I do have a lot of moments where I feel her power and I go, “Oh wow, I really missed that.” I have moments where I feel there’s more vulnerability, this season actually, especially with the relationships... this woman I had a history with. So when I go back to that fierce Jeri, I’m like “That feels really good!”
Now that Malcolm has left, Jessica’s got this new assistant. Does he run into Jessica now?
Eka: In my experience, Malcolm leaving Jessica was very much a choice and one coming from a power place. He doesn’t have any desire to go back and rehash the past. For him, it’s about growing into who he’s becoming more so than pining after anything that he had previously. In terms of the new assistant, it’s a fantastic character and we haven’t seen one onscreen on this show or on TV in general. I think it will really land well with audiences.
Carrie-Anne: I can tell what a great job you’re doing because I can barely remember you being her assistant. (Both laugh)
Eka: I can’t escape these powerful women.
When you're playing someone who's ill and addicted, do you have to do a lot of research to get into that zone?
Eka: Yes, for sure. I spent a lot of time on really dark corners of the internet watching heroin detox and the different phases and what that looks like, and the different physiological aspects of what people go through. There are very set things like the 72-hour mark and what actually shows up on people's bodies, like the inflammation in the joints and how it affects walking. In season 1, I was snorting saline solution because they always have a runny nose as it affects the immune system so badly when you're on a detox. We're not similar because I'm not an addicted person; I don't drink coffee and never had issues with addictions personally. But I feel like we all have different things -- like for me it would be drive. I have always been very career-focused and know exactly what I want to do. That can become obsessive so I can find that aspect of myself and what that would feel like and point it in a different direction.
Can you talk about your experience playing a character with ALS?
Carrie-Anne: The ALS is probably one of the most difficult imaginary situations that I could ever put myself in. I did a lot of watching videos. I have always been interested in ALS -- it always peaked my interest in terms of my compassion and the truth of that disease. It was really difficult for me to even imagine what people with ALS must be dealing with. But I think it’s difficult for Jeri too -- she’s in the beginning phases of it. My feelings about it are very aligned with how she’s feeling about it as well, which is slightly in denial. It’s been interesting. I try to bring my life in, but I have certain parameters that I don’t allow myself. I never bring my kids in if it’s difficult. I don’t allow my psyche to go there. I have to say it’s challenging for sure.
How was it having Jessica as a director?
Carrie-Anne: She’s really good. She’s so smart. She’s grown up in the business. She has a natural affinity for scripts and I think she makes the stories better. She has great notes. Obviously she’s an incredible actor, but this seemed so effortless to her. She would come in and really create a space for the actors, step back and let us work it out.
Eka: I wasn’t sure how I would like it. To have somebody that you have such a close onscreen relationship with and have that person directing you -- I thought it would be weird but it couldn’t have been further from my experience. As an actor, she has this innate ability to give impeccable notes about what it is she’s looking for. She can say very little and I know exactly what she’s talking about and I can give it to her.
Carrie-Anne: She knows exactly how she wants to edit it. You don’t have to waste time on a part she got; she just needs that one little moment for that cut. That’s interesting because I never had anyone that clear about that. She’s going to be something, that one.